This just gets weirder. Okay, last word on my part, and then feel free to do weird things. I made a fairly simple argument that just because taxes get collected doesn't mean that they get spent in the ways we'd like. Is that especially controversial? Do you find this an outrageous statement?
So, if you give people money who want to spend it on weapons, giving them more might lead to more weapons spending with that new windfall?
I think you might have picked that up, but honestly I'm not sure. Now I get your position is sort of "value neutral", meaning you don't really care about the priorities at the moment, you care about the size of the pot (Edit: "first" should be here as well) . Am I understanding that correctly? It reads that way to me.
So if we're sort of agreed at this point, and I think we are, it comes down to how the size of the pot affects the spending. My original point was that it doesn't matter, because we deficit spend. The US has that luxury at the moment. So this money that's owed isn't fiscally important strictly speaking. Does that make sense so far? It's important to us mostly on principle: none of us (except the right wingers) like corporations dodging their tax bills and sticking us (presumably) with their share and so we want the buggers to pay up.
I agree that they should. But I'm also saying that the real struggle here is over the values of the budget, not the pot itself. A lot of liberal reform arguments revolve around tax fairness and just collection, which is fine in and of itself. Butwe too often make the assumption--as this author did and hundreds before them--that having the money means that we're going to get more social spending.
Empirically it does not. And it doesn't because if they wanted to spend on social programs, they could do it now the same way they fund anything else. So I was implying that we need to focus more on changing the values of power than on worrying too much about tax collection. Not exactly a ragingly controversial manifesto, is it?
Anyhoo, I'm done. This thread was bizarre, especially with Jimboz helpful LSD fueled addition.